Keri Russell on how her ‘scaredy cat’ tendencies helped horror film Antlers

Keri Russell has said she believes her “scaredy cat” tendencies helped her performance in her latest horror film.

The US actress, best known for her roles in The Americans, Felicity and Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker, stars opposite Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons in Antlers, a mythological horror film about a creature ravaging a small working class town, produced by Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro.

Russell told the PA news agency: “I’m a scaredy cat but I heard Scott Cooper was directing it and I was a huge fan of his first movie, Crazy Heart. He creates these intimate stories that are so graceful and raw, and so I thought the idea of him doing a horror movie was really interesting.

“And with Guillermo and his whole monster magic universe, it just seemed like a graceful version of a horror movie.

“I think (being scared) helps, because it’s so much about imagination.

“And if you are a person who gets scared all the time, it’s very easy to imagine being scared. And I’m scared all the time.

“I’ve never really seen a giant monster, so you have to come up with something. And to me, the monster was a metaphor for everything that happens to those towns when everything leaves, when money leaves, when drugs move in, when hopelessness is just everywhere.

“And then, specifically, that idea of generational trauma. That, to me, is just what I turned into the monster.”

Russell said she was also aided by the fact a team of craftsmen created the monster in real life, rather than relying on visual effects.

The 90th Academy Awards – Press Room – Los Angeles
The film is produced by Oscar winner Guillermo Del Toro (Ian West/PA)

“The magic of doing something with Guillermo is you have this amazing team of monster makers, incredible artists, and you don’t have to imagine because they create something that is real in front of you, which is really, really cool.

“So much of the movies we make now, you have nothing, so much of acting has become green screen. And that’s what’s so interesting about what Guillermo does, they create this magnificent, horrifying thing that is very real.

“It’s huge and it’s breathing. What you see in the movie was what I was acting with, which is so unique. And it just doesn’t happen.

“There are multiple men working it to make it move and do it all, it was really so creative, and you saw the artistry involved in it.”

Antlers is out now in UK cinemas.